I’ve decided, on a whim, to fast for the day.
During this time, I have been feasting on my favorite curmudgeon, Christopher Hitchens.
Nothing—I’m here to tell you—soothes an empty stomach like vintage Hitch slaps delivered with brutal efficiency. As usual, it has sparked a need to vent some of my outrages. Rather than subjecting my friends to more of my voice than they already put up with, I thought I’d write them out. More fun that way, anyway.
The problem I’m now having is that I don’t really have anything to rant about. As is often the case, I get vicarious catharsis watching someone else go through the outrage of evils and injustices, so I’m feeling rather good just now.
What to say…
I could mention that Hitchens was convinced that Pres. Obama is an Atheist because he (Obama) ended his inaugural speech by quoting something George Washington had read to his troops at Valley Forge:
What Obama didn’t mention was that these words are from Thomas Paine’s book, The Crisis. Paine, a bitter and eloquent anti-religionist, was and is one of the most hated figures of the American Revolution in the eyes of the Republican party.
During a Q & A after a talk promoting his book, God Is Not Great; How Religion Poisons Everything, someone mentioned to him that Bill Maher thought that Christian Fundamentalists are the worst sort. Hitch was quick to refute that, something that I don’t think needs any explanation (Christian Fundies don’t have the same fashion sense vis-a-vis suicide vests). I doubt that that was Mahar’s contention, anyway. They (Christian Fundies) are the loudest and the most annoying, to be sure. But, unless they make it into legislatures in numbers, are hardly more than a nuisance.
Try this on for size.
Hitchens mentions in another place the changing definition of the word ‘atheist’ in light of recent scientific advances. This struck with me because he refers to an observation by a scientist (whose name I cannot recall), that I made myself on this blog not too long ago, though I’ll be damned if I can find it now.
It is this.
An atheist is one who, based solely on the evidence, does not believe that there is a god in the sense of a creator or Prime Mover. Note the implied proviso. The atheist’s position is based on the evidence; if more evidence should emerge which makes a creator likely, the atheist is quite willing to change their mind on the issue. Atheists are rationalists before all else.
For the first time that we know of, the state of the evidence now make Deism an illogical belief.
Because there is strong evidence that nature had no beginning.
It seems very likely, now, that we live in a universe that is part of a multiverse. If any of the nine different scenarios now being contemplated is true, there are an infinite number of universes which are of different ages, configurations, and may even have different physical laws. What’s more, they are being born all the time. Given this, there is no reason to think that the process will ever end and—more significantly—that it ever began.
If there was never a moment of creation there cannot have been a creator.
If any of these theories proves true, science will have disproven, not mere the god of Abraham, but the more conservative non-interventionist god of the Deist. As a consequence, the label ‘atheist’ will likely fall into disuse simply because all rational people will, by default, be atheists. By definition, Deists and Theists will be ignorant or delusional or both. All who have borne the label ‘atheist’ will simply be called ‘sane people.’